Best Moisturizer for Acne: How to Choose a Great Moisturizer

Health & Beauty

Acne is a topic that most people around the globe can speak about from experience. This skin condition is not limited to any particular people group or age group. According to the National Institute of Health, as many as 80% of people between 11 and 30 have acne, with some getting it later on in life as well.

Getting rid of acne is difficult, but with the right products, you can help to manage your acne and minimize or eliminate it. With that in mind, what is the best moisturizer for acne?

Below you’ll find a list of the 15 best moisturizers for acne along with a guide that will help you know how to choose the best product for you.

Best Moisturizer for Acne: Top 15 Choices

1. CeraVe Moisturizing Facial Lotion AM

This moisturizer is good for your skin and also acts as an SPF 30 sunscreen. You can apply it every day to help your facial skin stay healthy and use it every 2 hours when out in the sun for optimal protection. To keep from clogging pores and irritating your acne, this moisturizer is made with noncomedogenic ingredients and is fragrance-free. Great for use by anyone with oily skin or eczema.

Active ingredients for the sunscreen are Octinoxate, Octocrylene, and Zinc Oxide and the moisturizer uses Homosalate.

Pros

  • Lighter than a regular lotion; great for your face
  • Good for use under your makeup
  • Effective as an eczema treatment lotion
  • Won’t aggravate facial skin and acne

Cons

  • Parabens are used in this product
  • Not very effective as a sunscreen; better as a moisturizing lotion
  • Verdict

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CeraVe has made a moisturizer that a lot of people like. Some people have said it feels a bit heavy and doesn’t absorb as well as other moisturizers, but this could be due to the added SPF in the AM formula. Overall, it’s a great moisturizer to use every morning that won’t irritate your skin or worsen your acne. It goes well under your makeup and helps to keep your face glowing and healthy.

2. Certified Organic Raw Shea Butter 

Shea butter is a great ingredient for facial moisturizers, especially for anyone with dry skin. This Certified Organic Shea butter moisturizer is made from completely natural ingredients that have never been exposed to pesticides or contaminants and it comes in a BPA free jar. Using this gives you vitamins A, D, E, and F along with valuable antioxidants to keep your skin moist and healthy. Additionally, it provides some UV protection, although it will not replace a sunscreen.

This is a natural product with the only ingredient being organic Shea butter. It’s great if you want to use it directly on your face or mix it in with another ingredient to make a homemade facial moisturizer.

Pros

  • Certified organic through Oregon Tilth; USDA approved
  • No problem for people with tree nut allergies
  • Soft, pure Shea butter has stronger benefits than diluted Shea butter
  • Perfect for mixing and making your health care products

Cons

  • Solid consistency can be hard to melt and rub in a hurry
  • Some naturally sweet odor occurs with this product

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If those who have bought and used this product are any judge, this Certified Organic Shea butter is a really good choice, especially for those with skin conditions like eczema or seasonal dry skin. It will help to make your skin look and feel great. Pure Shea butter does not aggravate your acne and is rater 0 on the comedogenic scale, making it a great facial moisturizer to use!

3. New York Biology Retinol Facial Cream with Hyaluronic Acid

This moisturizing formula is a mix of Retinol (Vitamin A), Jojoba Oil, Shea butter, and Hyaluronic Acid along with a few other natural ingredients in lesser amounts. It helps to add a lot of great vitamins, antioxidants, and nutrients to your skin for a healthier appearance and feel. It’s good for use by those with sensitive skin, dry skin, or normal skin but should be avoided if you have oily skin. You can apply it twice a day and watch your skin get healthier and your acne disappears.

Ingredients are natural and while it is not specifically a noncomedogenic product most people do not experience problems with using it for mild to normal acne.

Pros

  • Made 100% in the USA
  • Soaks up without feeling too heavy on your skin
  • Reduces signs of aging along with acne
  • Convenient push pump included with the jar

Cons

  • Contains small amounts of Palm Oil, a known pore clogging oil

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Despite reviews saying the product does not contain any Hyaluronic Acid it is listed as an active ingredient in the Retinol. This is where the acne-fighting comes in, and many people have been praising this moisturizer for reducing their acne and helping to repair their skin. Not everyone is happy with it, but it’s to be expected with most moisturizing lotions. The vertical push pump wasn’t popular with everyone, but it’s great for keeping the lotion air-tight and effective for the life of the cream.

4. Body Merry Retinol Cream Moisturizer 2.5%

As a Retinol-based facial moisturizer, this Body Merry product gives you anti-aging benefits as well as helping you to manage your acne. The formula isn’t good for those with oily skin, but it works well for sensitive skin, dry skin, and normal skin. With the natural ingredients in this daily moisturizer you can help to improve your skin’s firmness and reduce your acne.

Natural ingredients in this moisturizer include Hyaluronic Acid (derived from plants), Wild-crafted Green Tea, Organic Jojoba Oil, Vitamin E, Vitamin B5 and Shea Butter.

Pros

  • Made in the USA 100%
  • Very light scent that’s hardly noticeable
  • Can be applied morning and night
  • See results within a few weeks

Cons

  • Some people felt a slightly oily face after applying this moisturizer

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Body Merry makes a lot of skin treatment products that work well. This moisturizer is no exception, with many people saying they see the benefits soon after using the product. Others have mentioned feeling a little oily after applying it, but that could be due to using too much. Overall it is an excellent moisturizer for those with dry skin and sensitive skin.

5. Keeva Tea Tree Oil Acne Treatment Cream

Tea Tree Oil has been proven to be an excellent remedy for acne. It can work to kill acne-causing bacteria and clear up your pores over a short period. This Keeva moisturizing formula mixes natural ingredients with Tea Tree Oil to moisturize skin while clearing up your acne. Using this Keeva moisturizer also helps to reduce the appearance of your pores, so it’s good for those that have larger pores on their faces. Don’t use this moisturizer if you have dry skin, as the oils might cause irritation. Those with sensitive skin can usually use it without trouble.

Some of the moisturizing ingredients include Vitamin E, Sophora Root Extract, and Deionized water.

Pros

  • Help prevent future breakouts and dispel current acne
  • Little or no fragrance at all
  • Use it for spot treatments or as a whole-face moisturizing acne treatment
  • Lasts a long time because you don’t have to apply much

Cons

  • Contains IP-Clean HX1, a chemical banned in some countries
  • Doesn’t help everyone to get good acne-fighting results

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The consensus is that this product works well at making your skin look and feel great. It gives that slight tingle from the Tea Tree Oil to let you know that it’s working. Not everyone will see the effects of acne elimination, partially because the Tea Tree Oil is not a very strong concentration, but it won’t aggravate acne or make it worse. Some people with very sensitive skin or dry skin might have an issue with the oil, but it’s great for almost any other skin types.

6. VoilaVe Coconut Moisture with Retinol Organic Coconut Oil Face Moisturizer

Recent studies have been showing the benefits of Coconut oil for your skin, face, hair, and overall health. VoilaVe uses coconut oil in combination with Retinol and other natural ingredients to make a moisturizer that helps to cleanse acne and also make your face very smooth. You can use this to help with symptoms of aging, cleanse and shrink your pores, and brighten the appearance of your skin.

Chamomile is one of the ingredients added to this moisturizer, making it great if you’re already using a topical acne treatment as it will calm any irritation or inflammation. As a non-greasy formula, you can use this well with under make-up. It’s not recommended for those with very oily skin, as coconut oil might act as a comedogenic ingredient in those cases.

Pros

  • Feels great on your skin
  • Applies thickly enough to not need a second coat, even on drier days
  • No greasy feel when you put it on your face
  • Convenient built-in push pump

Cons

  • Little or no effect on pigmentation problems
  • Scent is fairly clinical but dissipates quickly after application

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This is one of the acne moisturizers that a lot of people seem to recommend to their friends and family. It works well for a lot of people with dry, normal, and sensitive skin types and has the combined benefits of coconut oil and retinol. The result is a light, soft lotion which will have a positive effect on your face. Not everyone with oily skin liked this product, as it sometimes caused breakouts in those cases.

7. Christina Moss Naturals Facial Moisturizer

Natural, organic ingredients are important for facial moisturizers as they are less likely to introduce harmful chemicals onto your face which may clog your pores and irritate your skin. Christina Moss Naturals’ facial moisturizer is made with 100% all natural ingredients that are blended without the addition of or exposure to any unnatural substances. It’s a good product if you have sensitive skin, as the Aloe Vera used in the formula will help to soothe your skin and keep it healthy. Scented with Star Anise Oil, you should avoid this product if you want an odorless moisturizer.

Some of the main ingredients used in this moisturizer are Aloe Vera Leaf, Apricot Kernel Oil, Grape Seed Oil, and Avocado Oil. You might want to avoid it if you have very oily skin, as the mostly oil-based ingredient list won’t help to cut down on facial oils. It’s great for dry skin and normal skin.

Pros

  • No need to store it in the fridge for preserved life
  • Useful for eye areas as well as the general face
  • Natural licorice scent from Anise Seed Oil (evaporates quickly)
  • Great customer service
  • Completely natural ingredient list

Cons

  • Not everyone likes the Anise Seed Oil (licorice) smell
  • Smaller container than some people expected to receive

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While it seems like this is effective and well liked moisturizer, the biggest issue most people had with it was with the Anise Seed Oil. This is used in place of a preservative and gives it a 6 – 8 month shelf life, but it also makes for a very noticeable licorice smell when you first apply it. Not everyone liked that smell, but if you can get past it (the smell evaporates after a few minutes) it should be a wonderful moisturizer for your acne prone skin!

8. Era Organics Natural Face Moisturizer Cream, Advanced Healing

Not only are you said to get well moisturized skin from using this product, but it also claims to help repair and protect your skin. Coconut oil and Shea butter work together to make the skin very smooth and soft while other ingredients like Aloe Vera and Manuka Honey help cleanse the skin and kill bacteria that can cause acne. The heavy concentration of oils means it may not be a good choice for those with oily or very oily skin, but it is great for sensitive skin, dry skin, and normal skin.

Natural ingredients used in this moisturizer include Aloe Vera, Manuka Honey, MSM, Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Blue Green Algae, Olive Oils, Cocoa Butter and Hemp Seed Oil with vitamins A, B, C, E along with others.

Pros

  • Works well as an eye cream also
  • A bit thick, but absorbs quickly and completely
  • Safe for Celiacs to use
  • Great for eczema treatment

Cons

  • Slight smell of the cream, although it doesn’t linger after you apply it

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This is a really good moisturizer when it comes to reducing acne, but it’s also effective at helping reduce other skin conditions as well. People with eczema and rosacea have all said that they noticed a big difference in their skin after just a few days of using it. After a few weeks the acne left completely and tended to stay away. That being said, it’s not always effective at keeping skin moist for a long period and some people have to apply twice a day for the best effect.

9. Alba Botanica Acnedote Oil Control Lotion

Salicylic acid at a 2% concentration is what’s used to make this an acne-fighting moisturizing lotion. It contains no oils and is water-based so that it will work well for those with oily skin. You might want to avoid it if you have dry skin, although people with sensitive skin may be able to use it as it has Aloe Vera and Chamomile to help calm the skin of any irritation caused by the Salicylic acid. That being said, the active ingredients may not be good if you have a combination of dry and sensitive skin.

As an acne treatment, you will probably like this moisturizer. However, some customers complained that it made their faces dry out a bit more than they would like and they used a very light moisturizer on top of this to help get a smoother face overall.

Pros

  • Results show up quickly on acne
  • 100% natural, vegetarian ingredients
  • Helps with cystic acne

Cons

  • Mint oil is too harsh for some sensitive skin types
  • Can dry some skin types out

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Although the majority of people using this moisturizer found it to be great at clearing away acne, it does sometimes cause your skin to dry out. Some people with sensitive skin had a lot of problems with this, so don’t get it if you have sensitive skin. Otherwise, it’s a great cure for a lot of people’s acne, including cystic acne and clogged pores.

10. Pure Body Naturals Dead Sea Mud Mask

This product is not a moisturizer in and of itself, but it works well to rid your face of acne and can help to improve the smoothness and health of your skin. It claims to help pull out the toxin in your skin and clean out your pores, effectively getting rid of pimples and blackheads alike. You can also see the effects on your pores as it will minimize them in size and help to heal acne scars. Those with sensitive skin may be able to use this mask well, as it’s formulated with that skin type in mind.

Natural active ingredients include Dead Sea Mud, Shea Butter, Sunflower Oil, Aloe Vera Juice, and Jojoba Oil.

Pros

  • Great for sensitive skin types
  • Doesn’t dry out and crack when it’s applied
  • Easy to apply, smooth texture, and easy to rinse off

No scent

Cons

  • Doesn’t completely remove blackheads until a few applications

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Compared to Bentonite clay masks and other similar natural masks, most people preferred the Dead Sea Mud Mask for its mild feel and good results against acne. It’s effective at opening and cleaning out clogged pores as well as reducing acne and eliminating some larger blackheads.

How to Choose the Best Moisturizer for Acne

What can you do to look for a good moisturizer that won’t make your acne worse? Here are a few questions you should ask yourself to figure out which moisturizers are ideal for you.

Is your skin dry, oily, a combination, or normal?

Different types of skin need their separate formulas of moisturizer. Here are some of the Dermatologist recommendations for different skin types:

  • Oily skin: Since your skin has an above average amount of oil, you don’t want to add any more to the mix. Use a water-based, dimethicone, or hyaluronic acid formula moisturizer.
  • Very oily: You have a large excess of oil that you may even have to blot away during the day. Use something that is pure hyaluronic acid serum to lock the moisture in without adding more oil. Avoid creams or thick moisturizers.
  • Dry skin: Try something with a moisturizing element such as pure Shea butter, lanolin, ceramide, or hyaluronate. These are non-clogging moisturizers that help with dry skin.
  • Combination: If your skin is oily in some places and dry in others, use light lotion moisturizers, non-greasy. Apply them only on cheeks and jawbones and avoid the oily areas of your face.
  • Sensitive skin: Use moisturizers with no SPF or fragrance. Choose light formulas that won’t leave any residue or excess oil on your face.
  • Normal skin: Most moisturizers are okay. Avoid greasy formulas and comedogenic ingredients.
  • All skin types: Look for moisturizers with noncomedogenic ingredients. Here is a fairly comprehensive list of ingredients to avoid and those who are less likely to clog your pores and cause acne.  (http://www.caryskincare.com/acnecomedogeniclist.html) 

Are you currently using any acne treatments?

  • If you’re applying anything on your skin for acne, you need to avoid moisturizers with exfoliating ingredients. However, if you’re not using anything on your skin for acne already, exfoliating ingredients can be helpful in managing your acne.

Does the moisturizer contain any fragrance ingredients?

  • Some acne can be worsened by irritated skin. If you use a moisturizer with fragrances, color additives, skin bleaching properties, or anything else that might be bothering your skin than you risk more acne outbreaks.

Are you supplying your skin with nutrients from another source?

  • Your skin needs anti-oxidants to help prevent damage and signs of aging and keep it looking great. If your moisturizer isn’t supplying these ingredients or you don’t use a moisturizer, try to ensure you are getting them from something else that you either apply or ingest.
  • If you’re not getting what you need for your skin already, add a proper moisturizer to your routine. Many moisturizers can actually help to get rid of acne as well because moist skin without excess oil can help to loosen up the sebum that clogs up your pores.

 

Conclusion

It can be difficult to find the best moisturizer for acne, but the Certified Organic Raw Shea Butter is a great choice for a lot of people. If you have dry skin, sensitive skin, normal skin, or a combination oily and dry skin than you can apply it directly for the most benefits. Those with oily skin can mix pure Shea butter in with other water-based or hyaluronic acid-based products to get the acne fighting and skin cleansing benefits as well.

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